Indians come up short against Tigers
The old adage in sports is that speed kills.
That was no more evident than in the display of speed put on by A.I. duPont running back Ja’Quai Bishop last Friday night, Sept. 20. The Indian River High School football team tried many different looks defensively, but ultimately Bishop’s speed and elusiveness proved to be too much, in a 35-26 setback to the Tigers.
The loss dropped the Indians to 0-3 on the season with a home date against Seaford next up on the schedule this week, on Sept. 27.
“They were very quick, and No. 1 is a heck of a runner,” head coach Phil Townsend said of Bishop after the game. “The speed of the game certainly was quick. In weeks past, we were able to slow the runner down. No. 1 didn’t need a lot of room to run, and he is probably one of the better runners we’ve played yet.”
The Indians outgained duPont overall on offense with their 431 yards of total offense. Leading the way was sophomore running back Dalton Hall, who amassed 188 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. His brother Hayden Hall, the team’s freshman quarterback, contributed 60 yards and a touchdown, while junior Jalen Holland-Holloway added 39 yards and two scores.
“We ran the ball real well,” Townsend added. “Dalton had a really nice game, and unfortunately he started cramping up there, which hurt us. We had a lot of guys cramping up, and that really affected us as well.”
Hayden Hall also did a nice job mixing in some throws into the Indians’ offense, connecting on 6 of 9 passes for 96 yards. Nicholas Angelo was on the receiving end of two tosses, for 54 yards, including one on a big fourth-down play that extended an Indians’ drive in the second half, which led to a score. Holland caught two passes for 16 yards, while A.J. Bordeau and Dalton Hall each caught one.
“Hayden played really well at quarterback; he’s a playmaker,” assessed Townsend. “There were a couple plays where he should have been sacked, and he made plays. He threw the ball very well. In the end, they were just one step ahead of us because their speed was just a little too much, and I knew that coming into this.”
R.J. Rybicki led the Indians’ defense with 10 total tackles, with Ramond Turner chipping in with seven and T.J. Burke six. Jodiah Morris (four tackles) and JaQuan Floyd (four tackles) each came away with sacks of the Tigers’ quarterback.
Both teams played relatively clean football, with the only turnover coming on an IR fumble.
This week, the Indians will take on a winless Seaford team that is struggling with numbers in their program, having recently canceled the remaining JV schedule for this season. The Blue Jays are 0-2 overall, having lost to St. Andrew’s School last week, 40-0. They dropped their Week 1 opener 14-8 to First State Military Academy.
Look for the Indians to establish their powerful run game early and often this week with Dalton Hall, while mixing in some speed with Holland-Holloway and Ta’Jon Knight. Hayden Hall will be back under center.
The Indians are hoping to get some of their walking wounded back this week as well, and will try to solve the riddle of why they were cramping so much last week.
By Jason Feather